When it comes to living and working abroad, our home and native land is considered one of the best destinations in the world for expats.

Today, for the seventh time, InterNations, the world’s largest expat community, published its Expat Insider survey, which is one of the most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, sharing insights into expat life in 59 global destinations.

The survey offers in-depth information on expats’ satisfaction with the quality of life, ease of settling in, working life, personal finance, and the cost of living in their respective country of residence. Additionally, this year's respondents shared how they experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted their lives.

The data was collected in January of this year -- right before the third wave of the pandemic began to run its course around the globe, which leaves one question remaining: will these destinations still come out on top in a post-COVID world?  

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This year, Taiwan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Canada, and Vietnam ranked as the best destinations for expats. Moreover, Kuwait, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey, India, and Malta ranked as the worst destinations for expats.

Canada ranked 9th out of 59 global destinations in the2021 survey, performing particularly well in the 'Quality of Life' (5th), 'Working Abroad' (12th), and 'Ease of Settling In' (12th) indices. However, Canada lands in the bottom 10 of the 'Cost of Living' index (50th) and comes in 40th place for 'Personal Finance.'

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Overall, Taiwan, Mexico, and Costa Rica are the best expat destinations worldwide as all of them attract expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances.

On the other hand, the bottom three countries, Kuwait, Italy, and South Africa, perform poorly in the 'Working Abroad' index. Additionally, Kuwait is the hardest country for expats to feel at home in, while Italy is the worst for personal finances, and expats in South Africa do not feel safe. 

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When it comes to expat life amid the pandemic, nearly half of survey respondents say that COVID-19 impacted their current stay abroad or their relocation plans. This share of expats said they either decided to not move back home in the near future (18%), planned to move to another country but had to change these plans (8%), will move to another country due to the pandemic (6%), or will move back home sooner than originally planned (5%).

What's more, the share of local respondents whose relocation plans were affected by COVID-19 say they were living abroad but moved home sooner than planned (18%), while others were planning to move abroad but had to change their plans (35%), and about one in ten have now decided to move abroad because of the pandemic (9%).

You can read the entire survey here.

Urban Living